Posts Tagged With: pregnant climbing

Staying in the Game (Part 2)


Ready to climb! (excuse the fuzzy pictures, its part of having a 6 year old take them)

I’m officially half-way through my pregnancy this week!  We are excited for our upcoming ultrasound and I’m hoping it will make baby’s March arrival seem more real. A few weeks ago I discussed climbing in regards to early pregnancy, and things are changing as my belly grows.

Thankfully my new CAMP body harness arrived a month ago.  I can certainly tell that it was NOT designed for a woman’s body, but I didn’t want to stop climbing until January when the Mountain Mama pregnancy harness comes out.  I’ve been able to adjust it for the most part, and it takes all the pressure off my growing belly.

Two things surprised me when I climbed the first time with the body harness.  1) With the belay loop being higher, the stopper knot ended up being close to my nose during important parts of the climb.  Three fourths of the way up I’d gotten slapped in the face by the extra rope one too many times and decided to come down.  Thankfully my friend Eliz taught me how to do a Yosemite finish so I don’t have the rope trying to pick my nose as I climb. 2) I like to climb in tanktops, but the harness straps coming over my shoulders began to rub my skin raw.  The first night I had to finish out my climbing in my husbands fashionable white undershirt just to save my skin.  We’ve considered adding some flair to my climbing harness (yes, this is an Office Space reference) because its just that fashionable.

As for the actual climbing, I can tell that my center of gravity is shifting and the weight gain  makes it a bit more challenging to pull certain moves.  However, it is forcing me to climb a bit more creatively (which is a good thing).  My husband teases me that I only used to climb with my hip into the wall and I’m now having to climb in a position that more resembles a frog.  I was particularly proud of myself for pulling a modified layback move to get through the crux of one of my climbs.  Sometimes I discover that my depth perception is off in regards to my belly and I have to shift my body to avoid knocking it on a hold.

Also, my husband has been losing weight and I’ve been gaining it; so I’ve started belaying him with only one twist in the rope instead of two.  It can be difficult for me to smoothly belay with the twists in the rope, which at one point a while back had ended up knocking his glasses off during a climb.  However, the weight gain has been to my advantage in this scenario and (I hope) I’m a better belayer for it.

I also had the joy of meeting another pregnant climber at the gym.  She says I’m only the third pregnant climber she’s seen in our area over the last few years, and she’s been climbing much longer than I have.  I’ve noticed over the last few weeks my harness and my belly are conversation starters.  People are curious and supportive.

One last thing, I’ve started reading Exercising Through Your Pregnancy, which I would recommend as a great resource for women looking for scientifically sound advice for activities in pregnancy. It’s great to see the research and the wonderful impact of fitness for mother and baby.

So until next time, climb on!

Categories: Climbing | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Staying in the Game


For the faithful followers of this blog (and on Twitter), it’s no surprise that we are expecting a new edition in 2013.  I plan to share my experiences with staying active through pregnancy as well as the challenges, so I might help encourage others who hope to maintain their outdoor activities while pregnant.

Climbing

The average person seems to believe that rock climbing and pregnancy don’t belong together in the same sentence.  With the upcoming release of the Mountain Mama & Mad Rock pregnancy harness this topic has been covered by the non-climbing media (see sampling of stories here, here, and here).  I had many friends and acquaintances assume I would no longer be climbing now that I’m pregnant.  With my last pregnancy (not knowing any better) I had succumbed to the popular belief that pregnant women are fragile.  This was during my pre-climbing days, and I’ve not usually been one to sustain regular exercise, so I became more and more inactive and suffered the consequences: weak back muscles and increasing pains as my small frame was not prepared to support my increased weight.

Now, as a climber (if I can call myself that!) I’ve been determined to keep my activity level up and prepare my body for the journey ahead.  Before I began to show with my pregnancy, climbing was not an issue.  I noticed that I was a bit more breathless towards the top of my climbs, so I listened to my body and took more breaks as I needed to.  I kept nausea at bay by eating constantly, and I did my best to press through tiredness to maintain being active.

However, I began to show around week 9 or 10, and with the change in my body it affected my mentality towards climbing.  I began to get nervous and lost confidence for sending.  The following week I used one of my husband’s larger harnesses and positioned the waist above my bump. which was more comfortable.  I was able to climb at my normal pre-pregnancy levels (which is a 5.8, like I said, I’m still a new climber!)

Photo courtesy of C.A.M.P. USA website

Local outdoor retailers that carry climbing gear looked at me quizzically when I inquired about adult full body harnesses.  There don’t seem to be many pregnant women darkening the doors of the climbing gym.  It’s been a challenge trying to find a harness that will work, which is why I’m thankful that Mountain Mama and Mad Rock are answering this need with the release of the harness in January 2013.  I just don’t want to take 3 months off from climbing to wait for it!  I just received my new harness (pictured at left), the Magic II from C.A.M.P. which I will be trying out today.

There are some inspirational women that have showed me that it is possible to climb and maintain an outdoor lifestyle while pregnant.  I’m thankful for examples such as Carrie Cooper, Erica Lineberry, and Teresa Delphin of Mountain Mama.  I’m happy to have found the inspiration and support online that I lack locally.

Hiking

We are also continuing to chip away at our family goal of hiking 100 miles together during 2012.  Before pregnancy, I was always leading the family down the trail, setting the pace.  With pregnancy breathlessness combined with allergies, I found myself falling behind, especially when going up hill.

Falling behind on the trail

It is certainly humbling to lose my place at the front of the pack, but I’m thankful to be staying in the game. 

Categories: Climbing, Hiking | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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